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Hot Springs Savage Heat boys fight the good fight in tourney


February 27, 2020

John Hamilton

SAVAGE HEAT SENIOR Brandon Knudsen plays in his final high school game for Hot Springs against St. Regis in Ronan Monday night.

Never discount the fighting heart of the Savage Heat.

Coaches Scott Fredrickson and Trevor Paro guided their resilient Hot Springs Savage Heat to two wins in four games at the District 14C tournament in Ronan this past week, finishing the tourney in a very respectable third place.

"It was a fun year, this is a great group of kids," Fredrickson said. "We will miss Brandon (Knudsen) and Luke (Waterbury), our two seniors, but these other kids will now have a chance to build on what they learned this year and move on from there."

The Savage Heat started their 14C tourney run with a 59-47 win over Charlo Thursday, continued it with a 70-46 loss to Plains in the semifinals Friday night, stayed alive with a 66-53 win over Noxon Saturday morning, and then defeated Charlo for a second time in three days (and the third time in two weeks) later Saturday, dumping the Vikings 45-35 in the consolation game.

Earning the right to play St. Regis for second place, the Heat took that opportunity but lost 64-47 to the Tigers. District champion Plains and St. Regis now move on to this week's combined girls and boys Western C divisional tournament in Frenchtown.

Although individual scoring from all the tournament games was difficult to obtain, Jack McAllister led Hot Springs to the win over Noxon with 16 points, Kyle Lawson scored 15, Knudsen 14, Lincoln Slonaker nine, Waterbury eight and Nathan Lawhead four.

Please see other story for Noxon scoring.

In the consolation game win over Charlo, Lawson was good for 21 points, Knudsen added 19, Waterbury eight and Lawhead four.

Dawson Dumont bucketed 16 points to pace Charlo.

Against St. Regis Monday night in Ronan, Knudsen completed his Hot Springs hoop career scoring a game-high 20 points, Lawson added 11, McAllister seven, Waterbury six, Slonaker and Austin Campbell three apiece and Lawhead two.

John Hamilton

SURROUNDED BY DAYS - Savage Heat sophomore Kyle Lawson shoots against St. Regis Monday as brothers Nick and Tanner Day defend.

Andrew Sanford, Tanner Day and John Pruitt scored 14 points each for St. Regis.

Fredrickson said the Heat hit only 13 of 24 free throws and only three of 23 3-point attempts in the game.

"You have to put the ball in the basket, we had a shot at them if we would have made a few more free throws and a couple of 3-pointers," he said. "But you have to give St. Regis credit, they did a good job of denying some of our shooters and forcing others to shoot the ball."

Fredrickson is encouraged by what he saw in his first season coaching at Hot Springs.

"We have the makings of being a pretty good team here but the kids are going to have to put the work in during the offseason if they want to get better," he said. "We are sorry to see the season end, but feel like it was a pretty positive one."


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